Paul Krill

About the Author Paul Krill


Facebook’s Relay JavaScript framework gets GraphQL

Facebook has reconstructed its Relay JavaScript framework for building data-driven applications for easier use.

Renamed Relay Modern, the updated framework features a GraphQL framework incorporating best practices from classic Relay, Facebook’s native mobile GraphQL clients, and the GraphQL community, Facebook software engineers Lee Byron and Joe Savona said this week.

“Relay Modern retains the best parts of Relay—co-located data and view definitions, declarative data fetching—while also simplifying the API, adding features, improving performance, and reducing the size of the framework,” the engineers said. “To accomplish this, we embraced two concepts: static queries and ahead-of-time optimization.”

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Facebook Relay JavaScript framework simplifies API

Facebook has reconstructed its Relay JavaScript framework for building data-driven applications for easier use.

Renamed Relay Modern, the updated framework features a GraphQL framework incorporating best practices from classic Relay, Facebook’s native mobile GraphQL clients, and the GraphQL community, Facebook software engineers Lee Byron and Joe Savona said this week.

“Relay Modern retains the best parts of Relay—co-located data and view definitions, declarative data fetching—while also simplifying the API, adding features, improving performance, and reducing the size of the framework,” the engineers said. “To accomplish this, we embraced two concepts: static queries and ahead-of-time optimization.”

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AWS CodeStar offers templates to ease cloud app deployments

Amazon looks to simplify building and deploying apps on its cloud platform with the introduction of the AWS CodeStar service this week.

The cloud service eases project setup by using templates for web applications, web services, and other projects on common development platforms. Developers can provision projects and resources for software development processes ranging from coding to testing and deployment. Templates are featured for such AWS options as EC2, Elastic Beanstalk, and Lambda, and supported languages include JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, and PHP.

AWS CodeStar was launched in response to organizations facing the challenge of having agile, dynamic software development processes, said AWS Technical Evangelist Tara Walker. “The first challenge most new software projects face is the lengthy setup process that developers have to complete before they can start coding,” she said. This process could include setting up IDEs, accessing code repositories, and identifying infrastructure needed for builds, tests, and production.

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Stack Overflow: Like sleep? Don’t code in C

When it comes to developers’ work habits and the languages they use, C# programmers tend to start and stop work earlier than C programmers, who stay up later. But for programming outside of the common 9-to-5 workday, Haskell gets the nod.

In analysis of programming traffic on the Stack Overflow online community over for four weeks last August, Stack Overflow Insights data scientist David Robinson, found that traffic spikes during the workday—unsurprising since the site is used by programmers to help them do their jobs. “You can even see a dip at 12 p.m. when developers eat lunch,” he noted.

For his report released today, Robinson focused on four languages: C, Python, JavaScript, and C#. While C# programmers start work earlier, they tend to use the language less in the evening. “This might be because C# is often used at finance and enterprise software companies, which often start earlier and have rigid schedules,” he postulated.

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CoffeeScript upgrade refocuses on JavaScript standards

CoffeeScript, which attempts to make it easier to program in JavaScript, has a just-released beta version that features ECMAScript 2015+ support.

The currently downloadable 2.0 beta offers ES2015+ syntax, where ES2015+ is recognized as ECMAScript 2015 and later features. ECMAScript is the official specification underlying JavaScript. The upgrade breaks compatibility with certain CoffeeScript 1 features to conform with ES2015+, according to coffeescript.org’s bulletin about the upgrade.

“Since the CoffeeScript 2 compiler outputs ES2015+ syntax, it is your responsibility to either ensure that your target JavaScript runtime(s) support all these features, or that you pass the output through another transpiler like Babel, Rollup, or Traceur Compiler,” the bulletin says.

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Hardened Node.js distro comes to Docker-friendly Alpine Linux

NodeSource is releasing a distribution of its enterprise-level, commercially supported NSolid Node.js runtime that works with Docker-friendly Alpine Linux. NSolid for Alpine Linux is intended to work with Alpine’s small footprint and security capabilities, said Joe McCann, NodeSource CEO.

With the NSolid Node.js runtime, the company accommodates three critical enterprise technologies: the Linux kernel, Docker containers, and Node.js server-side JavaScript applications.

Containers using Alpine require a maximum of 8MB, and installing it to disk takes up as little as about 130MB. There has been a rise in Alpine Linux Docker distributions because of Alpine’s tiny footprint, McCann said. The Alpine kernel also offers security enhancements preventing a class of zero-day and other vulnerabilities. Users get a secure option for running Node apps in containers, said McCann.

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GitHub free account holders can now join developer program

GitHub is opening up its developer program to developers who do not have paid accounts.

The popular code-sharing service is looking to attract the open source community with the move. “That means if your free account was holding you back, you can join the program no matter which stage of development you’re in,” said Jared Jones, GitHub Developer Program manager.

Launched in 2014, the GitHub Developer Program has featured a community of 17,000 programmers primarily developing software by using the GitHub API. Opening access to developers without paid accounts could dramatically expand the membership, GitHub’s Joe Wadcan, head of business development, acknowledged.

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New AI language hides TensorFlow complexity

Bonsai’s Inkling programming language, which makes it easier to build artificial intelligence applications, is moving closer to a 1.0 release.

Part of the Bonsai Platform for AI, Inkling is a proprietary higher level language that compiles down to Google’s open source TensorFlow library for machine intelligence. Inkling is designed to represent AI in terms of what a developer wants to teach the system instead of focusing on low-level mechanics. It abstracts away from dynamic AI algorithms that would otherwise require expertise in machine learning. Declarative and strongly typed, the language resembles a cross between Python and SQL from a syntactic perspective, said Bonsai CEO Mark Hammond.

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